When your baby has mastered the very fine purees and simple flavors most often introduced as the first solid foods, it's time to start incorporating new flavors into your baby's diet. When your baby starts to enjoy more variety, it's time to think outside of the box. Get beyond the typical apples and bananas and offer your baby some different and often overlooked fruits and vegetables that offer up tons of nutrition and plenty of flavor.
Avocados. Avocados are an excellent early food for babies. They have a silky, smooth texture that only requires fork mashing, rather than real pureeing. The mild flavor is very often a hit with babies, and avocados are loaded with the good fat that babies need.
Kiwi. Kiwi also has a naturally soft texture so it is easy to mash to the correct consistency for your baby. While kiwis may be a little sour for your baby at first, they are a wonderful source of vitamin C.
Melons. Melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon are great fruits for your baby to try. Again, they have a naturally soft texture so they are easy to chew. Cantaloupe is packed with vitamins A and C. Honeydew is also a great source of vitamin C and watermelon has lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Cherries. Bing cherries, chopped into tiny pieces, are another great fruit for your baby to try. Cherries provide vitamin C and potassium.
Broccoli. Because of the naturally firm texture of broccoli, it is sometimes overlooked as a baby food. Removing the florets and chopping them finely, however, makes broccoli a great vegetable to mix in with another puree such as carrots. Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse providing vitamin C, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and folate. The gassiness that broccoli often gives adults, typically does not translate to babies.
Spinach. Spinach can be pureed alone or mixed with other purees. Because it has a rather strong flavor, your baby may like it better when mixed with something else. Spinach is packed with nutrients including Vitamin A, C, magnesium, folate, and iron.
Summer Squash. Your baby probably already likes butternut or acorn squash, but what about yellow summer squash? This vegetable provides vitamin C and has a mild flavor that many babies love. Just make sure you leave the skin on and chop it very finely.
Corn. Corn too is often overlooked as a vegetable because it is sometimes considered to be a grain. But with vitamin C and fiber, and a naturally sweet taste, corn can be a nice addition to your baby's diet. Be sure your baby is accustomed to chewing before trying smashed corn kernels.
Tomatoes. Tomatoes are acidic so make sure your baby is a little older (8 or 9 months) before incorporating tomatoes into his diet. Chopped tomato makes a great finger food. Tomatoes are full of lycopene, vitamins A and C, and potassium.
When feeding your baby make sure you consider all that your grocery store produce section has to offer, not just the same old fruits and vegetables. Introducing your baby to plenty of new flavors from a young age will help her to be open to new foods for a lifetime, and will give her the ultimate in good nutrition.